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COP27 – China and the US are back in direct climate talks

The US and China have returned to direct talks on the issue after their climate talks broke down in late summer. US climate envoy John Kerry spoke with China’s climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua for nearly three hours at the UN climate conference in Egypt on Thursday evening, observers from the E3G climate think tank who closely followed the discussions said on Friday.

Both may want to “play a constructive role in the final part” of the convention, said expert Alden Meyer. “It’s interesting that they spent so much time together.”

In August, China broke off climate talks with the US over tensions over Taiwan. Talks resumed after a meeting in Bali on Monday between Chinese President and Party leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden. The resumption of dialogue was not expressly announced. According to the US government, there was talk of the two countries working together on key issues such as climate change and deepening “efforts on these and other issues”.

Kerry and Xi met a few days ago at a climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. There was speculation about the alleged dinner between the two on Tuesday evening. On Thursday, Xie made a surprise appearance with Kerry at a methane reduction event. Kerry interrupted a speaker and introduced Xie as “someone who has become a friend of mine.” For his part, Xie spoke of Kerry as “my good friend”.

When it comes to global fossil CO2 emissions, China takes the top spot with a 31 percent share, followed by the United States with a 14 percent contribution. This is followed by the European Union (eight percent) and India (seven percent).

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